Is this a sign of things to come for Apple (NASDAQ:
) -- or a hint that another exec is planning to leave the
Cupertino, California-based tech giant? According to
, Bob Mansfield, the Senior VP of Apple's Technologies group, has
sold 35,000 of his shares in the company. His cash-out price came
to $582.21 per share, awarding him a total of more than $20
Six months ago another Apple executive, Scott Forstall, made a
similar move. The former VP of iOS sold 95 percent of his shares.
He earned nearly $39 million but raised questions about his
future at the company. Many wondered if he was planning to leave
Apple. Others feared that he had lost faith in the company's
Forstall had more shares coming, however -- 100,000 restricted
stock units that would vest in 2014 and another 150,000 RSUs that
would vest in 2016. Thus, he could afford to part with what he
had and enjoy life, knowing that more shares were on the way.
That was the plan, at least. It came to an abrupt end when
Forstall was pushed out of the company. No one knows the exact
cause of his departure, but one report suggested that Apple fired
him after he failed to publicly apologize for the failed Maps
app. Whatever the case, Forstall is no longer in charge of
Mansfield, on the other hand, came out of retirement to return
to Apple this year. He now has another 150,000 in stock options
coming in June 2013 and March 2016. But if he is planning to stay
long enough to get the first batch, why would he sell 35,000
The obvious answer is that he either really wanted the money
or that he fears the stock will have declined by the time June
This is not unprecedented. While Apple is up this week,
jumping nearly two percent in the last five days, the company has
yet to recover from its three-month loss of more than 11 percent.
Year-to-date Apple is still performing better than most
companies, raising its value by more than 43 percent. But those
gains occurred in the months leading up to the release of several
major Apple products, including the third-generation iPad
(released last spring) and the iPhone 5 (released in September).
Now that the company has gone through its portfolio, some
investors have lost their interest in the stock.
Some believe that Apple will skyrocket as soon as the hype
begins for its 2013 slate of products, which will include another
iPad and iPhone and may include a new television set. But the
release of those products is very far away. Without any new
iDevices coming in the next three months*, Apple's value may
continue to stumble.
As a senior executive, Mansfield has the benefit of knowing
exactly when Apple plans to release its next product. Thus, this
could also be a sign that Apple does not have any major releases
planned for the next
*Presumably. Apple has surprised investors before by shipping
the fourth-generation iPad just eight months after the
third-generation model was released.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.